30th May 2019
ASHER-SMITH SURGES TO ANOTHER WORLD LEAD IN STOCKHOLM
Dina Asher-Smith (coach: John Blackie; club: Blackheath & Bromley) scored her second women’s 200m world lead and second Diamond League victory of the season with a blitzing run in Stockholm.
In a stacked 200m field, the Londoner blasted out of lane four and opened up a marginal lead around the bend, from Elaine Thompson (JAM), which she lengthened to cut the tape in 22.18s (1.3), improving her previous world leading mark of 22.26s.
Asher-Smith was surprised that she had improved her world leading mark in a field of such quality and feels that her performance took her slightly by surprise.
Afterwards, she said: “I am happy with that. My aim was to come, win and run my own race which is very important in a race of that calibre.
“I was very happy to win but I didn’t expect to run that kind of time as it is quite cold out and late at night. I’m glad it stopped raining. I didn’t know my mum would be here – she tends to just turn up so when I saw her I was so happy.”
It was a good night on the track for distance specialists Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark; Poole AC) and Eilish McColgan (Liz Nuttall; Dundee Hawkhill), who battled through tricky conditions in the women’s 5000m to hit the IAAF World Championship qualifying mark.
After hurdling over fallers and fighting the wind and rain in Stockholm, McColgan and Courtney fought their way through the field, with the former home in seventh place taking two Diamond League points in 14:52.11 run, while Courtney was one place further back in 14:53.82, shaving over 10-seconds off her previous best in the process and picking up the final Diamond League point on offer.
Courtney added: “I’m happy with that because the race was so messy, you can see that two Kenyans went down, and when that happened it really slowed it and obviously that made Gabriela, Eilish and I really close in, which was good, but I kept clipping people´s heels as it was really slowing down.
“I felt really controlled the whole way, I’m just annoyed I didn’t quite have it at the end. It´s just learning though. I can´t complain, I really wanted under that 14:50 barrier but there´s still time, it’s only my second season in the event, I’ve got a lot to learn.”
Elsewhere, Seb Rodger (Benke Blomkvist; Shaftesbury Barnet) finished strongly to take fourth place in the final Diamond League action of the night in the men’s 400m hurdles, stopping the clock in 50.50s, countryman Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong; WSEH) was sixth in 51.29s.
The other Brit in Diamond League action was Lynsey Sharp (David Harmer; Edinburgh AC), who took her first Diamond League points of the season with a seventh place finish in the women’s 800m in 2:03.52.
There was a comfortable victory for Laura Muir (Andy Young; Dundee Hawkhill) in the non-Diamond League women’s 1500m, opening up a massive winning margin to cross the line in 4:05.37.
After a steady pace through the opening two laps, Muir turned on the burners in the final race to open up an enormous gap to Malika Akkaoui (MAR) in second, winning by over four seconds.
Fellow Brit and training partner Jemma Reekie (Andy Young; Kilbarchan) battled hard all race and finished fourth in 4:10.06, with Westminster Mile silver medallist Sarah McDonald (David Harmer; Birchfield) one place further back in 4:11.01, with Amy Griffiths (Denmark; Aldershot, Farnham & District) eighth in 4:13.80.
Other notable performances in the other non-Diamond League events saw Rabah Yousif (Carol Williams; Newham & Essex Beagles) hold off countryman Cameron Chalmers (James Hillier; Guernsey) for 400m victory in 46.67s, a season’s best, while Bianca Williams (Lloyd Cowan; Enfield & Haringey) clocked 11.63s (2.8) for fourth place in the women’s 100m.